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Vintage p90 output/specs?

matt117

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Joined
Jul 19, 2015
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14
Looking for the specs on the 50s les Paul juniors p90s.
Ive read somewhere that they used A2 magnets until part way thru 1957?
I always hear about vintage pickups having low output, what's considered low output? 8kohm and lower?

Do they push an amp like a humbucker would?
 

CBRmatt600

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Oct 27, 2015
Messages
280
Looking for the specs on the 50s les Paul juniors p90s.
Ive read somewhere that they used A2 magnets until part way thru 1957?
I always hear about vintage pickups having low output, what's considered low output? 8kohm and lower?

Do they push an amp like a humbucker would?


Im no expert, but from everything I have come to know, vintage P90s are all over the place as far as output goes. They typically are on the lower end of the spectrum though, usually sub 8k.

they will most certainly push amp however. I have a custom built Jr. with an 8.4k dogear P90 in it and it pushes my amps into overdrive easier than any other single coil or humbuckers guitar that I own.
 

thin sissy

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Jan 2, 2006
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I don't know what they used for magnets, but would be interested in hearing from someone who does.

I have a 57 Jr. with a P-90 whose windings are in the mid 7 kOhm DC resistance range. As people have said before, the Ohms don't tell you all that much about output. This guitar as a whole feels very "strong" and seems to get a natural compression (or at least the illusion of it) when played through most amps. I don't know how much is the guitar or the pickup, but old Jr's can absolutely feel like they have powerful pickups with no problems pushing an amp.
 

matt117

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Jul 19, 2015
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I don't know what they used for magnets, but would be interested in hearing from someone who does.

I have a 57 Jr. with a P-90 whose windings are in the mid 7 kOhm DC resistance range. As people have said before, the Ohms don't tell you all that much about output. This guitar as a whole feels very "strong" and seems to get a natural compression (or at least the illusion of it) when played through most amps. I don't know how much is the guitar or the pickup, but old Jr's can absolutely feel like they have powerful pickups with no problems pushing an amp.
Is this just a quality of vintage jrs or p90s?
would I be fine with my stock 2011 p90? 8k ohm dc, a5s. I find it a bit bright. But there is a tone control for a reason and helps a lot. Got a mojotone p90 came with u5s, tried a2s in there and really liked that, right now I have a u5/a2 combo.
 

CBRmatt600

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Oct 27, 2015
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Is this just a quality of vintage jrs or p90s?
would I be fine with my stock 2011 p90? 8k ohm dc, a5s. I find it a bit bright. But there is a tone control for a reason and helps a lot. Got a mojotone p90 came with u5s, tried a2s in there and really liked that, right now I have a u5/a2 combo.

How is it wired? p90s can be very bright, but the tone control and volume control should both work together, it's hard to explain properly. My tone control affects the volume and shape of my Jr, and the volume does the same thing.

I don't know about modern Gibson P90s. I do know I wasted money on a new Guitar with those "P90ST" pickups in it from Gibson, and I think they sound godawful. There are plenty of boutique winders out there making great p90s however.
 

matt117

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Jul 19, 2015
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How is it wired? p90s can be very bright, but the tone control and volume control should both work together, it's hard to explain properly. My tone control affects the volume and shape of my Jr, and the volume does the same thing.

I don't know about modern Gibson P90s. I do know I wasted money on a new Guitar with those "P90ST" pickups in it from Gibson, and I think they sound godawful. There are plenty of boutique winders out there making great p90s however.
Yup mine works that way as well they're interactive, it's wired 50s style.
 

jimmi

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Oct 8, 2012
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My '54 goldtop has a neck PU around 8.9 and a bridge around 8
 

Dave71

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May 8, 2005
Messages
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My '56 Junior has a mid 7k rating. That guitar sounds hot as all hell, and is significantly louder than any of my other guits. But part of that may be due to the fact that because of the neck angle, the pickup poles sit very close to the strings.
 

thin sissy

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Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,628
Is this just a quality of vintage jrs or p90s?
would I be fine with my stock 2011 p90? 8k ohm dc, a5s. I find it a bit bright. But there is a tone control for a reason and helps a lot. Got a mojotone p90 came with u5s, tried a2s in there and really liked that, right now I have a u5/a2 combo.
I can't imagine only vintage Jr's having this quality. I've only played a few modern Jr's, but each one has sounded good (both historic and USA). Do you have one A5 bar in the pickup at the same time as one A2 bar? That sounds interesting.

BTW, my Jr with everything cranked is a bit bright, but that is something I want in a guitar. I think it's good to have that in case you need to really cut through the mix :)
 

CBRmatt600

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Oct 27, 2015
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BTW, my Jr with everything cranked is a bit bright, but that is something I want in a guitar. I think it's good to have that in case you need to really cut through the mix :)


I agree, that is what I like so much about them. Even though I think it sounds best in the 7-8 range on the volume knob, I like that it really screams when I get to 10.
 

Monroe

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Mar 11, 2008
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Not in a Junior, but my early '61 ES has a pair of P-90s that are both in the low 9s.
9.1K and 9.3K.
I wish they were less hot. There's no height adjustment (dogears)
 

matt117

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Jul 19, 2015
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I find that my les paul with p90s drives my amp much harder then the humbucker loaded paul. The speaker (et65) was giving out or flubbing out when I was playing my amp 3/4 the way up with some pedal help. With my other guitars it wasn't pushing the amp near as hard!!
I ended up back with the stock gibson (2011) with a5 magnets, as that pup with a2s was really dark, could only play it with the tone on 10 and even then it was too dark.
Learning experiences.. ended up back at the beginning.
 

bosrocker51

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Oct 17, 2016
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Re: Vintage p90 output/specs? 2 comparisons

I have a 1990 LP Jr that I put a 1958 P90 in, with 1950 Gibson pots and cap. It reads 7.92K on my multimeter
I also have a 1957 Jr, all original except for the tuning machines. It reads 7.44K on my multimeter
It sounds way better than the 1990. WAY BETTER!

BTW, I used to have a 1960 Jr - all original and the 1990 sounded exactly like it to my ears in a side by side comparison.
I sold the 1960 Junior to an Austrian collector. I just put the 1957 up for sale on ebay. it closes next week. Wish me luck. I need money!
 

bosrocker51

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Oct 17, 2016
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Not in a Junior, but my early '61 ES has a pair of P-90s that are both in the low 9s.
9.1K and 9.3K.
I wish they were less hot. There's no height adjustment (dogears)

I have 2 guitars with p90 soapbar pickups. Both are adjustable with the two screws that are visible on top of the pickup cover...
 

Ugo

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May 13, 2018
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Hi everybody i’m French so i apologies for my english..
Can anyone tell me if the electronic and the P90 of m’y 1968 Sg junior are original ? Thank you so much for answer me 😊
 

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lewis_grey

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Feb 14, 2016
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My ‘56 Special’s original P90’s both read 8k, I find they drive an amp just as hard as buckers, at least of the PAF variant. On balance my experience is that vintage humbuckers are brighter than vintage P90’s but P90’s have more growl and bite in the mid range, they don’t sound worlds apart though.
 

Tom Wittrock

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Aug 2, 2001
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Hi everybody i’m French so i apologies for my english..
Can anyone tell me if the electronic and the P90 of m’y 1968 Sg junior are original ? Thank you so much for answer me ��

I'm not an expert, but it all looks fine to me.

You might want to put this in the Forum area for 60's SGs [start your own thread] as you should get more viewers experienced with your era SG.
 
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